[Grief] TG at Camber

Ben Waddington falsedog at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 8 11:34:30 EST 2004

ATP The Nightmare Before Xmas 3 -5 Dec 2004

This was the first UK ATP to be curated by non
musicians (by Jake and Dinos Chapman) The immediate
differences are obvious from the announced line up: 
24 bands over  three days rather than the usual 40
odd.  Perhaps there are more surprises once we arrive:
those Chapman Bros do like to shock so!  The first
night begins late at 6pm with Wolf Eyes & is
excellent. Some really huge sounds fill the room for
an hour: its never merely unlistenable though : Wolf
Eyes know what huge sound should sound like: like a
fucked up oil rig. Lightning Bolt do their thing
upstairs in the corner: as people climb the walls to
see, or record on 7 foot long video cameras. it’s the
third time I’ve seen them...yet I’ve never   seen
them. Note: bring step ladders next time. Later, a
Minuteman Duet plays  , Watt’s bass just about fills
gaps left by Boons guitar. George Hurley’s haircut is
unique in rock: a Tintin’s HC gay ice cream man. It
will stay with me for a long time. You can choose
between Peaches and Shellac now; but why should I have
to? With just 7 bands playing the opening day there’s
enough time to show everything with no overlap. My
loyalty to Shellac wins, even though I’ve seen them
loads of times and  they play pretty much the same
songs. They do, and it’s as good as last time too. New
songs now seem familiar although there’s no sign of a
record release. One song has a long spoken, quiet
section from Steve which is the cue for morons at the
periphery (which is where I am: too fragile to get too
close) to discuss their art school homework and how
it’s Garry’s responsibility to buy washing up liquid
for the chalet. Steve’s haircut is just horrible now,
a crew cut too close to too pointy a head makes him
look like a cappuccino monk. Surely the drummer can
help a friend out here. Upstairs for Throbbing
Gristle, still time for Barry to reschedule the band a
third time to squeeze the last fiver out of the deal
but no, its going ahead. It nearly didn’t though:
Cosey hurts her hand in a fall hours the
performance...she plays through the pain. Sleazy has
his Coil yeti mirrorball suit on (which he
symbolically sheds at the end) and Genesis dedicates
the show to Geff. It’s  different to the Astoria show,
some new instrumental pieces & reworked favourites
like What A Day and Convincing People. The wall of
sound is back too:  it’s clear that Cosey was the core
of that harsh TG machine sound. Gen paces the stage
clinking glasses with Sleazy and Chris  and tries to
catch the attention/s of Cosey, but she’s not having
any. A CD of the show  is  available 10 mins
afterwards:  the first copies appear on eBay 1 minute
after that. So a great nightmarish evening: shades of
previous ATPs though with Lightning Bolt, Mike Watt,
Shellac... are Jake and Dinos really fans? of music?
Tomorrow its another late start with Little Wings:
Will Oldham appears too! As inventor of the beard,
he’s immediately at home with Little Wings, who tape
false beards onto anyone who hasn’t grown one. Destroy
All Monsters have some nice moments too: it has bad
ones too: nursery rhymes with guitar “shapes” from a
man in a cord du roy jacket: fuck off. When they don’t
sing / “vocalise” its good. Bird Blobs are the
Birthday Party (Birthd Blobs), The Liars aren’t as
good as a music paper said they would be, Growing are
excellent: Frippanino   sounds to an attentive
audience, so exact! I vow to buy the CD this time and
don’t. Another reATP band... Comets on Fire very good
too, so many of them, it works better than it looks it
will. Miss Kittin plays some of her favourite records
on turntables upstairs and sings eeeooo over some of
them, like Seefeel. Hair a bit messy, many tattoos,
short tennis dress, like skagged up death metal
Martina Navratilova ( a look Albini would go for).
Essentially though, it’s someone playing records you
don’t know, and going ooo. Can’t be bothered with And
You Follow The Trail Of Dead or whatever they’re
called, or Mercury Rev: 2 bands you like because the
NME told you to like them, 5 years ago. Silver Zion
Thing OK but don’t have the epic nature other Godspeed
spinoff brands have, other than the needlessly
extended 2 hour time slot. Do something else during
this period, can’t remember what...possibly just watch
TV. There’s a channel devoted to films enjoyed by the
Chaps, nothing that interesting though: Donnie Darko,
Alien, Withnail & I, Taxi Driver &c all worthy films
I’ve seen, many many times. Some zombie films too.
Back from the Green Owl for 30 mins of Aphex Twin, no
deviation from his usual pattern: drum and bass with
funny sounds over it. Go back to chalet to listen to
selected ambient works v2 instead. Head back again
around 3 for Russell Haswell / someone else pressing
the “shriek” button on their laptop. It’s a pathetic
squeal though ...is this the Nightmare Jake & D had
forecast? A Jan Swankmeyer film I’ve not seen is on
too. Coulda been on the telly instead of tonight’s
Rainman...Tomorrow wander around Rye’s mediaeval
Belgian looking lanes in search of smugglers. Go to
church belfry, need to squeeze through very narrow
passages and tiny wooden walkways to get there. Not a
big church but cos Rye is on a hill some great views
for miles across the level terrain. Back to Camber for
Hood, who are just shit. A rumour circulates that Lyle
Perkins, up next, is actually the new incarnation of
Will Oldham. It seems credible: no-one has heard of
Perkins, it’s a stupid name and there’s no way Bill
would travel to England for one guest spot with Little
Wings. It’s a classic Chapman Bros joke! Lyle Perkins
proves to be  a faceless techno guy with a laptop. Go
to see what the mysterious sounding ATP Cinema club
setting up downstairs is. It must be special, with a
good reason not to include the films on the existing
TV channel. Its 20 - 30 chairs laid out in front of a
digital projector and some films about music. It’s all
black and white, even though I have seen some of the
footage in colour...  but certainly isn’t a last
minute effort to pad out suspicious gaps in the
programme. unforgettable clip of Iggy Pop walking
across the audience topless, fans support him by
shins. A large tub of something is procured and flung
around the crowd. US commentator announces: “THAT”S
PEANUT BUTTER!” Students talk throughout, leave for
Pelican: good sound, and basic sound can’t work out
why it doesn’t quite do it for me. Sunn 0))) excellent
as usual, saw them a few days earlier, same set but
joined by that Hungarian guy growling throughout. 0)))
and Fall who follow are more tried and tested ATP
successes. Fall as usual, with the surprise inclusion
of Mr Pharmacist. Violent Femmes I suspect are Chap
selection: probably seemed radical 20 or 30 years ago
but it appears to be pop music with extended muso
solos. One drum solo appears to go on for ten
minutes.. BobW4 here too with a nightmarish yellow zip
up jacket, like a fucked up oil rig worker. Has a chat
with Little Wings,  possible beard tips...(Bob
invented the beard in 2002) Finally it’s over. This
should really have all been rounded off by TG and
Shellac, and all the shitty acts put out of the way on
Friday so I didn’t have to take the day off work on
Thursday and Friday.  The big shock surprise, the
great opportunity to make an impact by the young
British sculptors Jake and Elwood must be tomorrow
morning then, maybe a public unveiling of the “huge
paintings” donated to the ATP gallery, (surely Barry
wouldn’t just keep them?) or the installation planned
for the Re TG event. Or maybe the individual sale or
giveaway of all the burnt soldiers &c from “Hell” from
the Saatchi warehouse fire (started by TG).   Or the
giant puppet forms of the Chaps -12 foot tall children
with penis for eyes - stalking the grounds, knocking
the doors of campers hoping to have a lie in
...themselves announcing the arrival of a 35 foot
santa jetting snow, money and blood hundreds of metres
into the sky through a blow hole in his head like a
fucked up all rig. (“We don’t need it! It’s Xmas!”)
Sadly they squander the opportunity. Just 10 weeks til
the Slint ATP though...not a single act announced yet
although the rumours suggest, Fall,  Lightning Bolt,
Carter USM, The Wonder Stuff and Pop Will Eat Itself
have all being approached.

Have a Merry, scary, fucked up, funny, blood drenched,
 sexy little Xmas!

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